Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Les Fleur De Lys - Reflections (1965-69 uk, significant mod psych freak beat)

Although several of their singles are coveted by collectors of '60s British rock, Les Fleur de Lys remain obscure even by cult standards. That's partly because they never came close to getting a hit, but also because their furious pace of lineup changes makes their history very difficult to trace, and also precluded any sense of consistent style or identity. The group did release a number of fine singles in the mod-psychedelic style that has become known as "freakbeat," with more of a soul music influence than most such British acts.

Les Fleur de Lys changed lineups about half-a-dozen times during their recording career, which roughly spanned 1965-1969. Drummer Keith Guster was the only constant member; some of the musicians passing through went on to commercial success with Journey and Jefferson Starship (keyboardist Pete Sears) and King Crimson (bassist Gordon Haskell). At the outset, they recorded a couple of singles for the Immediate label that were produced by Jimmy Page (there remains some controversy about whether he played guitar on these as well). A cover of the Who's "Circles" featured the fluid, slightly distorted guitar lines that would become Fleur de Lys' most distinguishing characteristic. The 45s made no commercial impact, however, and Fleur de Lys helped sustain themselves in the late '60s by backing relocated South African singer Sharon Tandy. 

Sprawling 24-track comp of the rare recordings of this enigmatic band. Includes 14 songs issued under the Les Fleur de Lys name, singles that they issued under the Rupert's People, Chocolate Frog, and Shyster pseudonyms, and releases on which they backed Sharon Tandy, John Bromley, and Waygood Ellis. It goes without saying that such a manic hodgepodge is geared toward the hardcore collector market. 

But if you like mid-to-late '60s mod-psych, it's a decent item to have around, with some sparkling (occasionally crazed) guitar work, unusually constructed tunes that sometimes meld soul and psychedelia, and nice harmonies. "Circles" and "Mud in Your Eye" are first-rate pounding mod guitar tunes; "Gong With the Luminous Nose" is pop-psych at its silliest; "Reflections of Charlie Brown" is pop-psych at its most introspective; and Sharon Tandy's "Daughter of the Sun" is a lost near-classic with witchy vocals and sinister psychedelic guitar. 
by Richie Unterberger 
1. Circles - 3:06
2. Mud In Your Eye - 3:04
3. Going With the Luminous Nose - 2:37
4. Sugar Love - 2:08
5. Hold On (with Sharon Tandy) - 3:13
6. Prodigal Son - 2:01
7. One City Girl - 2:47
8. Daughter of the Sun (with Sharon Tandy) - 3:56
9. Tick Tock - 2:46
10.I Can See the Light - 3:01
11.Liar - 3:20
12.I Forgive You (as Chocolate Frog) - 2:41
13.So Come On - 1:53
14.Hammerhead - 1:31
15.Stop Crossing the Bridge - 2:04
16.I Like What I'm Trying To Do - 2:17
17.Hold On (as Rupert's People) - 3:31
18.Butchers and Bakers (as Chocolate Frog) - 2:55
19.Wait For Me - 2:24
20.Reflections of Charlie Brown (as Rupert's People) - 4:16
21.Brick By Brick - 2:30
22.I've Been Trying - 2:45
23.Moondreams - 2:30
24.So Many Things - 2:18

Les Fleur De Lys
*Frank Smith - Guitar, Vocals
*Alex Chamberlain - Organ
*Gary Churchill - Bass
*Keith Guster - Drums
*Gordon Haskell - Bass
*Pete Sears - Keyboards
*Phil Sawyer - Guitar
*Chris Andrews - Vocals
*Bryn Haworth - Guitar, Vocals
*Tony Head - Vocals
*Graham Maitland - Guitar
*Tago Byers - Bass

Related Act
1967-69  Magic World Of Rupert's People

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  1. This is a terrific album. Thanks Marios!

  2. Great band and "Hold On" a great song (played also by Ruperts People and Ipsissimus). Thanks

  3. Can you re-post this excellent cd,the lonks are gone in the the space.Thanks again.